CES 2018 News

A camera with Zigbee & Z-Wave radios???

The iota features a 1080p camera that can be used for home monitoring purposes, along with a built-in gateway that supports Z-Wave, ZigBee, and abode RF for connecting to hundreds of other devices. Native app support is included for many major smart home brands like Nest, ecobee, Philips Hue, and LIFX.

More a multiprotocol hub with a camera. We are seeing multiples of these now. The Toshiba Symbio mentioned upthread is already shipping.

Zipatile has had one for about a year, although the camera isn’t as good quality as the others, and set up is much more difficult, more like homeseer while the others are intended for mass-market. Nice flat panel format, though.


And LG has been working on one since last year, but hasn’t released it yet.

The new abode model was announced for first-quarter 2018, but isn’t shipping yet. It’s unusual in that they are also promising HomeKit compatibility, but we’ll see what they actually deliver.

Rumor is that wink has been working on one, but I don’t know if they have the research money to create it.

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Ugh as I just bought Abode this weekend! However, this comes at a cost. I got their starter kit for $329 which included a bunch of hardware. I don’t care much about having a streaming camera in their hub and I don’t use Homekit today and not sure how much I will like it. I can always upgrade to the hub later as it sounds like that will be a cheaper option down the road.

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So Ring settled their lawsuit with ADT and re-branded their Alarm, “Ring Alarm” due out this Spring. The real game changer here is not the hardware which looks limited compared to what Abode offers, but the pricing is extremely aggressive. The monthly $10 fee is something a lot of Ring customers were already paying for, and their sensors are pretty affordable too. As someone who is switching from Simplisafe to Abode, I found this interesting as I was waiting for Ring to announce this. It remains to be seen if you can use Ring Alarm with third party zWave sensors and avoid using their own. If you can, this is a real game changer. Also wondering if their 24 x 7 professional monitoring will cover Smoke/CO.

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Very interesting!

All these systems are aimed at millennials who have expensive stuff but may not have big houses. And are concerned about privacy, but still want integrated cameras.

When you look at any of these security/home automation systems that are coming out, read the fine print carefully. In particular:

  1. how many different home automation devices can you attach to the hub? Many of these new systems have a limit of about 40 devices. (That’s what the new Toshiba hub has, for example.) Remember that smartthings staff have said in the forum that their typical customer has about 15 devices. Many security services report that it takes about 15 sensors to secure a small home. You put those two together, and a couple of cameras, and you’re probably at that limit. But it’s a much smaller number than many smartthings users in this forum are used to.

  2. How many different home automation rules can you set up? Again, a number of these systems have a limit, something that people in this forum are definitely not used to.

  3. is compatibility limited to a specific set of devices? That has been more true, not less, over the last two years, as systems aiming for mass-market “set and forget” appeal want to get more stability.

In addition, as @mbhforum Points out below, some systems limit exactly which sensors are allowed to trigger calls to the professional monitoring service. This is true, for example, of the new ADT/smart things security panel. So just the fact that you can use a particular sensor with the system doesn’t mean you can use it the way you want to. :disappointed_relieved:

So up until early 2017, we often looked at the number of radios in the hub. But now you could have two different hubs with the exact same set of radios, but because of the answers to 1, 2, and 3, Above offer very different experiences for power users. Read carefully!

Also, as we have discussed else we are in the forums. Only a few of the systems will be able to call out the fire department. Many DIY security systems can only call police. So if professionally monitored fire department call outs are important to you, again, read carefully.

I just spoke with Ring support and they said you can use third party zWave sensors to trigger professional monitoring events including Fire/CO. Agreed, the limit of 40 devices would be a showstopper for HA, but I would venture to say for most home from a security perspective, most should fall under this limit.

One fail for the Ring Alarm keypad is it requires a power adapter. Most people mount their keypads on a wall by their door and don’t want an ugly power adapter hanging down and Ring missed the boat here on this one. It does say that it accepts Rechargable Batteries though, but that can be a pain.

Competition is good and if Ring can manage to gain a lot of ADT, Simplisafe and Abode’s customers because of their $10 plan, it will drive down costs.

I am seriously debating if I should wait for Ring to release this as opposed to setting up Abode. Although Abode charges a 20% restocking fee, so this move would now cost me $100. Yikes. I guess I deserve it for buying this right before CES!

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Samsung CES2018 - Promises or Vaporware?

What happened to the the Samsung .@smartthings Extend from CES 2016 .@Timbaxter1 youtu.be/yRSWoUmU5YQ

Samsung should win a #GoldenGlobe for being a Big, Little Liar.

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As a long time Smartthings user, and I see the walls closing in on SmartThings due to their slowing of third party integration.

Yes I do understand that is isn’t only up to them to get this done, but lately they seem to be leaning on their community to do this rather than take care of it themselves.

I used to be a large Nest supporter, but didn’t want to get trapped in their closed Ecosystem. I switched to Smartthings v1, due to their community, large third party ecosystem, and open approach.

Now, it seems every company wants to release some type of hub to control all their components, and another closed ecosystem. Either Smartthings needs to partner and integrate, or they will eventually lose control of it all. Every large partner of theirs are going down this path.

For example, The evident challenge Smartthings has is around security and how they integrate into third party Camera’s, Locks, and sensors.

Today, they work with a VERY limited list of camera vendors. Ring integration is a joke, since they only support the doorbell. Arlo is the only true integrated solution, but then you are dealing with a mix of vendors if you want a doorbell style camera opposed to an actual camera at your front door.

Also, recently Smartthings released the simple featured Lock Management SmartApp, which doesn’t do much beyond manage keys. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any disarming capabilities, nor set routines you can run based on the code you put in. There are community members developing this code to do some automation, but why is Smartthings not developing this themselves? They spend the time to do the key management, why not go a set further and do more than just unlock the door.

How nice would it be if you could use your door lock pad as the disarming keypad, which then triggers automation to disarm your system, turn your cameras to idle, trigger lights, and not set off your alarm. Geofence you say… LOL… Well I have a fairly decent circle around my house, and by the time Smartthings realizes either my phone or my wife’s phone is there, I am already in the house setting off the alarm.

What about when you have visitors, family members, and so on and you want to automate things around what they do. This should be a VERY simple config, and no need to combine efforts of Groovy code from the community, IFTT, or stringify to make this work.

I am not sure if Smartthings is depending on their ADT partnership or Scout partnership to do this, but thus far the true security functions and integration are definitely on the weak side.

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Every company (especially recently) is looking at creating additional products / devices on behalf of their company or through acquisitions to be able to create a complete ecosystem within their own domain. As you stated in your last paragraph, that’s exactly what SmartThings is doing with the release of the new ADT/ST hub. I see it is these companies moving away from the free for all 3rd party integrations (with SmartThings this comes with a ton of pros and cons) and focus on creating their own solid set of products that contribute to being able to deliver their own ecosystem and then targeting outward with very strategic partnerships with 3rd party companies to integrate additional products.

Nest Secure is an example of that a fully closed Ecosystem that integrates everything in their product line and an integration with Yale (Linus) to integrate the door lock into the Secure environment. I also see a lot more separation coming between Security system and Home Automation system and to define them as such.

As much as I love the Open / Free integration that exists today with ST, to me it just compounds to a lot more issues in the future. I think we are going to see less of this in the future, not completely removed, but a lot less flexibility and free for all. Choice isn’t always good when it creates just as many issues as the positives of doing it. Just my take. :slight_smile:

I see multiple reasons for this:

  • many third parties are limiting API access or closing the ability to integrate outside of their own fee based services (eg. Nest, Chamberlain MyQ, …

  • SmartThings charges fees for integrations and/or is looking for revenue payback for the effort. If the only revenue SmartThings ever gets from a customer is Hub purchase, then providing lifetime cloud service, improvements and integrations is a financial loser.

  • And Samsung SmartThings continues to focus on the long-term strategy, especially with the Beta release of the new API.

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disarming SHM via my schlage lock keypad works fine using a custom RBoy app but your correct it should be built into SmartThing apps already

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I understand and agree. I feel most consumers don’t want the lego pieces, but rather the kit.

Smartthings main value asset is the hub, and the ability to control various sensors and devices to perform the automated tasks we ask from it.

If that UI and/or interface isn’t sound, then the value diminishes, and we will be encouraged to find another providers solution. For this reason, I feel that ST will need to work harder at integrating a fewer set of partners, and but doing well. If Ecobee, Ring/Arlo, Jasco/Aeotec/Lutron/ Linear, First Alert/Halo, Irlo, Hue/Osram, and ADT are those partners, then go all in and make sure those providers are integrated well.

It seems that ST is now becoming more disconnected from the mothership, which we all originally thought was great, but as they maintain the open door ecosystem, the more they are losing their stance in the industry. I still like their open approach, and don’t want this to be a Samsung only thing, but if that helps them overall, then maybe they should shift in this direction. Right now they are caught in the middle of all vendors, including Samsung’s own products. Have you ever tried integrating a Samsung Powerbot Vacuum?

Also, remind me when Samsung talking about Smartthings, at CES 2018?

As a business, I bet ST has been losing more money than they make. Since their financials aren’t broken out, it is hard to tell, but I would bet very few users leverage their premium monthly service. I would also guess that they are trying to figure out a way to shift their revenue model from making most money from their hubs and even smaller sensor sales, to a model that licenses and brokers API amongst vendors.

Smartthings Cloud may be the first step to do this, but let’s see. I don’t see myself jumping on the Bixy boat, but there are no definites in technology.

This all might not matter to Samsung, because they gain accessibility to more endpoints in everyone’s household.

There aren’t to many other standalone hub solutions that are making a killing, and the ones that are doing well, are being maintained by their community (Vera).

We may not see a breaking point this year, but I do feel this year will be a defining year for many IOT companies, and the overarching hub approach will not be the forefront, but rather the more closed loop ecosystem that @WB70 mentions.

In the meantime, I hope ST focuses on their clients more, and helps integrate into more of these kits, like Ring.

@NoWon I appreciate the suggestion. I also use RBoy’s code to do this, but this lends to my point. Depending on your community to develop so much code isn’t sustainable for ST to grow their business. You can carry on doing this, but then you will look just like Vera. More and more manufacturers of devices aren’t opening up their APIs to allow others to build into their platform. Look at Nest, Haiku, iRobot, and others alike. Solid Nest integration didn’t happen until a year ago, and thi is due to the phenomenal work another community member wrote and continually develops.

I REALLY hope I am wrong about this, and I will continue being a supporter and user. Heck, I have too many third party sensors and switches not to. :slight_smile:

RIP SmartThings app as we know it :frowning: They’re merging all the apps. Keeping SmartThings name, but the demo looks more like Connect Home UI.

Finally bringing the (new) SmartThings app the the Gear watches!

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Never really understood the apps on smart watches, unless you could use them as a presence sensor. I have the Garmin app, and I never go into my watch and change the routine. Maybe I am using it wrong, and haven’t set up enough routines based on what i am doing, for example: Theater Routine, Dinner Routine, etc… I just automatically have things change based of time and various other triggers.

If someone could enlighten me, I would love to learn how to use this better!

Actually… I think it is an excellent way to grow if SmartThings were still running a vibrant “Developer Relations” department (or whatever name is appropriate) that would rapidly certify and promote these.

I don’t know why SmartThings moved away from this - they were very proud of a burst of “Marketplace” published Apps a couple years ago; but I think it is largely due to allocation of resources to the new SmartThings Cloud Developer API (i.e., why bother certifying stuff on the old API, only to have it be deprecated soon?).

The SmartThings Cloud is meant to be a platform, not a product. Samsung absolutely wants to continue to court developers; but there are both long and short term goals and constraints firmly outside our visibility. And this is partly because those strategies are constantly changing… even a few months after CES announcements to the contrary.

Trying to figure out what is “constant” about SmartThings is quite difficult. Maybe nothing is.

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to be fair, these are the 3 they said would merge. No mention of the SmartThings app.

But with the new unified app being called SmartThings, i’m not confident the existing SmartThings app will stick around long

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Spring is here soon.

I wonder when we’ll see more of that new logo…


Your point is very accurate, and the SmartThings group really needs to maintain both developer relations and partner relationships.

Samsung is notorious around developing a new technology, and in 2 years moving on to the new and stop supporting the old. There are countless products that experience this evolution more so than other vendors.

Maybe it has finally caught up to SmartThings and they are doing this with their new Samsung Cloud. To me it sounds like the Smartthings Cloud is a platform for all Samsungs devices to interact, and not necessarily their partners, or more so on a very limited bases.

Today at CES they talked about their partnership with over 370 devices from over 40 brands. Great that 4 years after Samsung’s acquisition they have maintained the open platform, but I truly believe they have lost focus on what made ST so great in the beginning, and what a true open platform means. It doesn’t mean open the door and they will come, but rather work hard to ensure it is truly open so others can develop on it, and integrate into your platform.

Notice the ST logo is now the connect Logo… Another indicator that they are shifting more focus on bridging their products, rather my having ST as a control point for an open ecosystem.

In all reality, if you let their Cloud/Joyent do this, with some AI to assist with device interactions or anomalies, then it could be an overall better solution, as long as the basic intelligence of interaction is pushed to the local hub to prevent latency or overall outages. This is similar to how Amazon runs Alexa.

Maybe we will see a more closed Ecosystem, with tighter integration with their own products like others do. Hopefully they realize the shortcomings of this all in one approach, and maintain the partnerships for the areas they aren’t strong in, or again allow their most import asset to choose, which is their client base.

We will see…

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Unless I really “misread the temperature at SDC”, there is no “Samsung Cloud API”.

  • The branding is The SmartThings Cloud (not to be confused with the existing SmartThings Cloud, even though they have the same name and share a lot of infrastructure).

  • The new API is based a lot on the original/current SmartThings architecture (i.e., Capability paradigm, (Smart)Apps as a unit of security and resource limit scope, and so on.

I certainly wouldn’t call SmartThings a “node” on the cloud. The SmartThings Cloud is the center of it.

But… SmartThings Hubs (hardware and software), are just nodes.